International Championships: An Important Source of Revenue in Football

We all know that major international championships make a lot of money. Those memorable World Cup commercials cost advertisers a big pile of cash, and TV channels pay top dollar for the right to broadcast the matches of the major European and world championships. FIFA, the entity behind these major championships, is a non-commercial, not for profit organization. This means that most of the money it makes returns to football – and an important part of it goes to the teams competing in these leagues. How much, you might ask (or better said, how much money does the Hungarian national team lose by not qualifying for these high-profile championships)? Well, let’s take a look.

World Cup

The FIFA World Cup, organized once every four years, is the most prestigious championship in association football. As such, it makes the most money – and the teams partaking in it also get the fattest paychecks. Last year, France won the FIFA World Cup – and took home the $38 million prize money attached to the title. Croatia may have lost the championship but it also got a serious paycheck – $28 million for the runner-up. The teams placed third and fourth received $24 and $22 million respectively, those placed 5 to 8 got $16 million each, those placed 9 to 16 got $12 million, and every team that qualified for the Group Stage received $8 million. The entire pool of prize money was worth $400 million last year.

UEFA championships

The UEFA – one of the six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA – organizes a yearly competition for the winners of its member states’ national leagues, the UEFA Champions League. It is a competition for clubs, not nations – for most countries, only the top club qualifies, while for some, the runners-up as well. The championship kicks off in June, with four knock-out qualifying rounds and a playoff round to decide which teams enter the group stage along with the 26 pre-qualified clubs. It is the most prestigious football competition in Europe and as such, it has quite the prize money attached. The team to win the Final gets a €19 million reward, while the team losing the final gets €15 million. Making it to the semi-final adds €12 million to a club’s bottom line, making it to the quarter-finals means a payday worth €10.5 million, and the prize money decreases until making it into the preliminary qualifying round that pays €230,000 for each team. The best club in the competition can win a total of €82.45 million. The UEFA Europa League is the second-tier European competition and this shows on its prize money, too. It has many more clubs making it to the Group Stage, and each of them gets a prize – €2,920,000 for the 2018-2019 season. The clubs get paid for each match won, for winning a group, for reaching the knockout stage, and so on. Making it to the quarter-finals pays €1.5 million, making it to the semi-finals, €2.4 million, losing the final pays €4.5 million, and winning the championship, €8.5 million.